Leading a sedentary lifestyle does nothing for your health and well-being. Sitting for long periods can result in shortened hip flexors and tightness in your hips. This can impair your mobility, and because tight hips negatively affect the position of your pelvis, your back suffers and you might end up with back pain. To combat hip tightness, lengthen your muscles by stretching them. An exercise ball, which is often used for core-strengthening exercises, can double as a stretching tool to support your body. With consistency, you can maintain your hip flexibility.
Straddling Hip Stretch
Sit with your buttocks on the center of an exercise ball, bend your knees 90 degrees and place your feet shoulder-width apart, flat on the floor. Place your hands on the ball or on your hips for support.
Tighten your abdominals to stabilize your body, bring your left foot around the ball toward the back and place your toes on the floor. Your stance should resemble that of a lunge while your weight is supported by the ball.
Transfer your weight to your right thigh, straighten your left knee as much as you comfortably can and keep your right knee directly above your ankle.
Push your hips forward so the front of your left thigh presses into the ball and emphasizes the stretch in your left hip and quadriceps. Imagine trying to curl your lower abdominals up to your chest while maintaining the natural curve of your back. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat it three times before switching legs.
Kneeling Hip Stretch
Place an exercise ball on the floor against a wall, turn your back to the wall and kneel in front of the ball.
Step your right foot forward, place your foot on the floor directly under your knee and place the font of your left foot against the ball behind you. If you have trouble staying balance, hold onto a nearby wall or other sturdy object.
Tighten your abdominals and glutes and tilt your hips forward as much as you can while keeping your torso upright and maintaining the natural curve of your back. Avoid arching or rounding your back. Hold the stretch in your left hip for 30 seconds and repeat it three times before switching legs.